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Sergio Pardilla Bellon
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Sergio Pardilla has signed with the MTN-Qhubeka team for 2013 and 2014. The South African team, which has applied for Professional Continental status, announced the signing of the Spanish climber on Wednesday. Pardilla is leaving Movistar Team, which in turn announced the signing of Spanish Olympic track cyclist Eloy Teruel.
Pardilla, 28, is known as a climber and breakaway specialist. He won the mountain jersey at this years Vuelta a Burgos, was second overall at the Tour de l'Ain, and 18th overall at the Giro d'Italia. He has 11 wins in his career, having turned pro in 2006. He joined Movistar in 2011.
He said that MTN-Qhubeka's charitable projects were an important factor in his signing. “Team MTN-Qhubeka is not a normal team. I mean results are important as they are in any other team but Team MTN-Qhubeka also has other goals which are supporting African riders to make cycling a more popular sport on the continent and taking part in charity projects to reduce poverty in Africa through Qhubeka.”
“It is fantastic to have a stage race rider and super climber like Sergio join our team. We have been looking for a rider that will be able to lead Team MTN-Qhubeka in stage races next year and into the Grand Tours in the very near future,” said team principal Douglas Ryder.
Teruel, 29, finished ninth in the Omnium and sixth in the team pursuit at the 2012 London Olympics. He rode for Spanish Continental and Professional Continental teams from 2006 to 2009, and has ridden as an Elite-2 since them. He was twice national time trial champion for Elite men without pro contracts in 2010 and 2102, only beaten in the championship time trial by Luis León Sánchez and his future team-mate Jonathan Castroviejo.